Too Much Happiness

Many persons who have not studied Mathematics confuse it with arithmetic and consider it a dry and arid science. Actually, this science requires great fantasy.
– Sophia Kovalevsky

I read about Sophia Kovalevsky recently and the lady’s life was pure inspiration. (The short story: Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro) Here was a person who was not only a mathematician, but also a novelist. She was the first lady to ever become a Professor of Maths in Europe and this was in the 18th century. There are a number of awards in her name to encourage girls to pursue Maths.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that I see a century and a half later, we are still limping along on this path, especially in the USA. Our minds perform best when challenged and when we shut off challenges, where are we? Fighting against preconceived notions has been a bane for many generations. This study looks at the effect Elementary School Teachers have on the children. Not surprisingly, if lady teachers were less confident in Mathematics, the girls tended to start thinking this to be the norm. The study touched a nerve because I have heard so many teachers confess that they are not great in Maths in Elementary Schools, when they shouldn’t be.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125172940.htm

What Maths needs is patience, practice and understanding. It is as much an art as a science. When equipped with the right sort of discipline, this subject is music for the soul. I was blessed in school to have teachers who brought out the joy of Mathematics in me. I can only wish the same for all generations to come.

How low is too low?

Clothes are a personal choice. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering about how some clothes defy the laws of Physics.

Many a time I sit on my train wondering what to wonder about, when teenage boys walk in and fill the void. When I say walk in, I use the term loosely. They waddle in like ducks with athritis. Their knees are bent in an awkward manner and their feet land as apart from each other as possible – you know making an obstuse angle like this.

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Why do they walk thus you ask. To keep on a gravity defying bit of clothing, that is why: Their pants hanging on for dear life to the waist. I suspect it must be pretty rotten being the pants in question. I mean imagine living every moment wondering whether one is going to fall down. I suspect they use belts to keep them where they are, but I haven’t really looked. It seems indecent to look at people’s pants especially if it means catching sight of their underwear instead. Coming to which, what do these boys call their underwear? It is clearly not “under” any other piece of clothing. Most of the time the pants are more than midway down the thigh. Sigh!

http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county/ci_18468273?source=most_viewed – pants below bottom

Rebellion takes many forms – the pants in this case. Nobody says anything of course, but merely look away discreetly. Which is why this news item intrigued me – the crew asked this man to deplane since his pants were below his bottom. The man did not comply and created a fuss before being whisked away.


But that leads us to the question – how far is too far and how low too low?

A Cryonics Question

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/28730691/detail.html

The Cryonics Movement Founder, Robert Ettinger died. He had his own body stored. When his first wife died, he stored her body. Then, the poor man lost his second wife as well and of course stored her body too. He must have loved them both dearly.

In the future(possibly hundreds of years from now), when technology does develop enough to resusciate a man’s life from his remains, imagine the shock the man will get on springing to life in an unrecognizable world. As if this was not enough trouble to be getting along with, what would happen when he finds his wives’ spring on him er … spring back to life. Which wife is his legal and binding partner? Is it the one who comes back to life first?

I am not sure as to their ages when they died, but what happens to to seniority in the family? Love will triumph – maybe the women will continue to love their man, but will they love each other?┬áMaybe, they should have stored Osama Bin Laden’s body to find out how he managed with three wives under one roof without so much as an opp. to step out for groceries….

The World may change, but it’s worries not much…..

Physical Google – Where are you?

With great advances in technology, the size of things produced has become smaller and smaller, while we seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Consequently searching for something in the house means ransacking the house more thoroughly than a bunch of bandits would. Why not keep things where they belong you ask? A fair question to anyone who doesn’t know the pride and joy the father and husband take in leaving the house a messy place. “That is what makes it a home, otherwise, it would be a hotel!” they proclaim loudly and admire each other’s sentiments and pat themselves on the back. I would pat them too, albeit a bit too hard for their liking.


I don’t know which animal it is that does this – I think it is a badger.(It is not an ostrich contary to popular opinion – the only pic I could find was of an ostrich though) Namely bury its head in the ground till the danger passes and then surface. I tried the badger technique the last time around and was quite unsuccessful. You see midway through burying myself in the hole and ignoring the whole search act, the corner of my eye caught a sofa being upturned. I don’t think badgers have sofa sets in their homes to be overturned while searching for something, but if it did, I think badgers would revise their opinion of ignoring events such as these.

I had merely uttered the threat idly because of I was tired of finding things that I was not searching for just then and not finding the things that I was searching for then. Little did I know that the threat would result in the house being turned upside down in the literal sense of the word.

All because the latest thing being searched for was a memory card. The size of my thumb.

Also, I wonder if you’ve noticed that the size of our belongings seem inversely proportional to our size. For instance, the youngest offender in our household, Tucky, is but a few months old, and he too cries when he loses sight of his possessions. But unlike our possessions, he does not need sofas upturned. He just has to look around the room – his possessions are there – loud, clear, big and bright. Whereas ours are dull grey, or better yet dirt colored memory sticks!

Just because we learn the art of camouflage doesn’t mean we impose this learning on our belongings – but alas, humans apply their learning everywhere. If Google could come up with a search engine for the wild, wild web, why not come up with something for physical objects?